The preparing pitch to keep Burnett

BALTIMORE — A source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed on Saturday that the Blue Jays are preparing to offer pitcher A.J. Burnett two additional years at around $30 million on top of his current contract, which expires after 2010.

“I don’t think a number has been put down yet,” the source said. “That’s probably as good a guess as anything, though. But, terms haven’t really been discussed.”

Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has repeatedly noted that he hasn’t been in contact with Burnett’s representative, but the pitcher said Saturday that his agent, Darek Braunecker, met with Ricciardi recently in Toronto.

Upon hearing that, Ricciardi altered his story.

“We talked, but it wasn’t about money or anything like that,” he said.

If the contract extension being offered is indeed four-years, $54 million through 2012, including the $24 million Burnett is owed over the next two seasons under his current deal, it will fall short of what the right-hander could command on the open market.

Another source indicated that Burnett could potentially fetch between $15-20 million annually over a long-term deal as a free agent. Burnett said he still hasn’t decided whether or not he’s going to opt out of his contract to test his value.

“I haven’t decided that. I don’t know,” Burnett said. “It depends on what these guys offer and on what me and my family think and then we’ll make that decision after that. But I’m not 100 percent going to opt out.”

Toronto’s best shot at signing Burnett is in October, before other teams can start talking to him.

“That’s the only way,” a source said. “If he declares the opt out, chances decrease tremendously.”

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (85-75) at BALTIMORE (67-92)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards

MaJoe Inglett, 2B
Jose Bautista, 3B
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Brad Wilkerson, CF
Kevin Mench, LF
Travis Snider, RF
Gregg Zaun, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: LHP John Parrish (1-0, 4.10)

Jay Payton, RF
Luis Montanez, LF
Melvin Mora, DH
Oscar Salazar, 3B
Adam Jones, CF
Ramon Hernandez, C
Kevin Millar, 1B
Alex Cintron, SS
Brandon Fahey, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Brian Bass (3-4, 5.08)


  1. gsjays

    JP exposed again. He met with AJ’s agent and didn’t talk money or contract. I guess they just talked about the US presidential race, the wall street financial crisis and the cost of gasoline. Does JP not realize what an idiot he looks like every time he’s caught in a lie and how much credibility he losses with the press and fans.? I guess he must not listen to the fan590 who ran this story today multiple times today.

    $54 mill for 4 years of Burnett. To be fair, I think Burnett changed this year from a thrower to a pitcher. Halliday has had significant impact on AJ, and as a result, it would not surprise me at all if AJ decides to stay. It would also not surprise me if AJ’s visits to the DL are limited in the future. He now longer goes out there and burns each pitch in at 98 mph and the wear and tear isn’t anywhere near what it used to be.

    BUT, is this is the start of a serious run at contending, because unless another 30-40 mill isn’t thrown at it, it could be just a waste of money and another huge contract which will needed to be unloaded.


    I have said over and over that AJ will not opt out and I will say it again.He learned how to pitch in Toronto,He will not leave Arnsberg or Halladay.


    Garry while the thought is nice, I can’t help but doubt what you believe. In the end money almost always talks, and AJ stands to make a lot of money if he opts-out of his contract. At the very least he re-ups with the jays for another 2 years, I mean he has enough leverage right now to easily guarantee at least 2 more years of big money.

    On the bright side, I don’t think the jays can lose in this scenario. If they re-sign AJ then great, they can try and bring in a big dh bat like a Jason Giambi (and yes his 30hrs would help our lineup devoid of power) or another player along those lines and try and compete next year.

    If he doesn’t re-sign we can take our 2 compensation picks, go into next year with a younger lineup, and try to prepare ourselves for a very competitive 2010 season. Whether people wanna admit it or not we paid AJ $31 million over the first 3 years, and we got a record of 34-26, which I would say is fairly solid production, considering all the pitchers that bust. We will also at the worst get 2 draft picks which always helps to build the farm system.


    The report is the Jays have offerd Burnett two more years at 30 mil.and I belive he will take it.AJ learned something about himself in Toronto,And I think Halladay taught him something more than just how to pitch,I belive it was how to become a man.I will bet almost anything that he will stay in Toronto.By chance if he leaves by opt out I will print that I am an IDIOT ON THIS SITE,That is how sure I am.


    What a bummer the last game of the year and it’s not on the tube.

    It looks like Wells is on tract since comeing of the DL.


    Garry I hope you are correct about AJ. If he takes that extension I will be happy, I don’t think JP has it in him to attempt to rebuild this team again so we basically have to keep out best veterans and hope for the best somehow.

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